The 20 ultimate tips for buying a house, with or without a buying agent

Use all the tips and compare the best buying agents for your situation

All 20 ultimate tips for buying your house

Buying your dream house is a tricky task. Where do you start and what all should you pay attention to when buying a house? At different steps during the purchase

of buying a house, it is important to consider a number of things. Below are the best tips, what to look out for and how to get the best deal when buying a house. This can be done with a purchase agent or without one. The purchase agent can be an expensive investment, but it has many advantages.

> Read more about all the tasks of a purchase agent here

Tip 1. Make a wish list

Before your search begins, it is useful to make a wish list. What properties does your house need to meet? How many bedrooms do you want? Do you want a nice garden or is a balcony enough? Besides the features and size of a house, it is also important to know in which neighbourhood or city you want to look. Are you looking for a newly built house or does a house full of character appeal more to you? Take a test here to determine which living type you are!

Tip 2. Make an appointment with a mortgage consultant

What is the maximum amount of your mortgage and how much do you have to spend in total? Before you start looking for a house, it is a good idea to talk to a mortgage consultant. That way, you will immediately have a good idea of what financial options you have. This way, you can focus your search for your dream home within budget. Avoid disappointments during the bidding process and save a lot of money by talking to a mortgage advisor first and discovering your options.

Tip 3. Search via different housing platforms and set a search profile

Don’t just search properties through the familiar way on housing platform Funda. There are many houses for sale here, but certainly not everything. For instance, there are also house sites where individuals register their houses and put them up for sale. These people do not use an estate agent. There are also websites like Housepedia and Promodomo, where people indicate that the house will eventually go on sale. Once you have an insight into your housing requirements, it is best to create a search profile on several websites. That way, you will receive a daily e-mail listing of new properties that fit your preferences.

Tip 4. Little experience with buying a house? Consult a purchase agent

Are you a starter and is buying a house unfamiliar territory? Then start looking for a suitable house yourself and find out what the options are within your budget and desired neighbourhood. A good tip is to first start bidding on properties yourself. If this doesn’t work, talk to a purchase agent. Never talk to just one purchase agent, but compare these purchase agents. Then you can work with a purchase agent you believe in.

Tip 5. Make sure the property is future-proof

A property may be ideal at the moment, but also make sure that the property fits your future plans. Do you have plans to expand your family or do you need an extra room to work from home more these days? Ask yourself if it is realistic that you will live in the house for more than 5 or 10 years. You cannot recoup the buyer’s fees within two years. The house has to suit your future plans, otherwise it is not suitable. After a viewing, it is therefore important to check whether the house suits you and whether you can live there long enough. As soon as this is not the case, it is advisable not to make an offer.

Tip 6. Follow estate agents on social media

Nowadays, several estate agents have social media, not only big estate agents have it. Nowadays, even local estate agents have a social media channel to keep home seekers informed. Following these channels has several advantages. For instance, you stay updated on the latest properties every moment. In addition, the estate agents themselves post new properties before they are visible on various housing platforms. This way, it is possible to be the first to respond to a property you would like to view. This way, you will be ahead of masses. A tip within the tip: call the estate agent as soon as possible to make an appointment.

Tip 7. Do not visit one house but several

Always visit several houses before you actually buy one. Buying a house is an important (financial) step. Therefore, it is useful if you have gained experience in looking at several houses critically. This way, you have a better feel for comparing different price ranges and types of houses. Before you start looking for a house, you don’t know exactly what types of houses are available in your price range. When you have seen the properties in real life, you have more of a ‘feel’ for them.

Tip 8. Bad photos online? Don’t look

Do you come across a property where the house does not look good from the photos? The house will not suddenly look much better in real life. Save time and by all means continue your search, but not at this house. Of course if you’re looking for a DIY house, then it’s good to go and look at a construction site. See that the photos were taken by an amateur? Then, of course, it may be worth going to look at a house. Chances are you will discover a hidden gem.

Tip 9. Visit an interesting house twice

Have you found a property you are interested in? Then don’t hesitate to take another look. After one viewing, you often miss details that you see the second time around. This way, you can avoid making the wrong decision or remove your doubts. If you want more tips on viewing, read the following two tips!

Tips 10. Take the second look at a different time

When you have a second viewing, it is a good idea to schedule it for another time. This way, you can see whether the light in the house is favourable at a different time of day. This could just be a turn-off that you will regret later. It is also important to drive by the house yourself once, without an appointment. This way, you can see what the street and the house are like without having an appointment.

Tip 11. Don’t go looking at a house alone

If you went looking alone the first time, it is good to go looking with someone the second time. Someone else will notice different elements and details in the house. Proper Estate Agent always says, two see more than one. Besides, you can discuss it better after the viewing to prepare an appropriate offer.

Tip 12. Investigate the house’s extension possibilities

You always buy the house with an eye on the future. Are you thinking of extending the house you are interested in? Then first investigate what is possible and whether the previous owners have already tried this. Perhaps you would prefer a dormer window? Then research what the possibilities are and whether you can just get a permit. You can look at the zoning plan and the rules in the neighbourhood. Do the neighbours already have a dormer window? Then there is a good chance you will be allowed to do so too!

Tip 13. Do online research about the neighbourhood

Before looking at a house, it is wise to explore the neighbourhood online first. Are there schools nearby? How far is the house from the city centre? If you often travel by public transport, it is useful if there is a bus stop or train station nearby. Nowadays, you can find all this in an overview next to the property on the site where the house is for sale. Avoid disappointment by going to look first and then drawing this conclusion.

Tip 14. Trust your feelings

The most important thing when buying your home is that it feels right. How does it feel as soon as you take the first step into the house? If the prerequisites with the house are good and your feeling is right, then it is (most likely) a good move to make an offer. If in doubt, never do it. After all, you need to live in a house for a long time and you need to feel at home.

Tip 15. Determine your bid based on recent sales in the area

Are you planning to make an offer on a house? If so, what will you base your bid on? Then start looking for similar homes in the neighbourhood, with the same number of rooms, the same size and a similar garden. Once you have found these properties, you can find the recent sale prices on the Land Registry or Google on the address and check through different websites what the estimated house value is. This will give you a good idea of recently sold houses in the area and you will know what you should offer approximately.

Tip 16. Found your dream home? Call the estate agent immediately

Looking for a property in this tight housing market? Then you always want to be one step ahead of the competition. How do you do that? As soon as you’ve seen a property, call the estate agent immediately. Make an appointment and have a chat. Above all, indicate that you are actively looking. That way, the estate agent can notify you in the future as soon as they know a new property is coming on the market.

Do you see a property that has already been sold, but suits your needs exactly?
Then still call the sales agent. This way, you can inquire about this property so that you have more knowledge about the type of property. In addition, you can directly indicate that you are looking for this type of property. This way, you end up in an active circuit where homes are sold quickly.

After accepting your bid

Has your bid been accepted by the selling party? Congratulations then you are almost a home owner. Below are a few tips that you should take into account to buy your house in the best possible way. Because there are still some important points you can get wrong.

Tip 17. Draw up resolutive conditions

The estate agent will draw up a preliminary sales contract. It is important to include resolutive conditions in the sales contract if you have not yet completed the financing. When you include ‘subject to financing’ in the sales contract, you can abandon the purchase free of charge. This is only if you are unable to get the mortgage and can provide proof of this. Discuss the conditions carefully with your purchase agent, who has a lot of experience with this.

Tip 18. Always have an architectural inspection carried out

An architectural inspection, also known as a construction inspection, checks the technical condition of the house. This way, the hidden defects of a house are discovered. This way, you will not be faced with high costs afterwards, this is the responsibility of the selling party. The inspector carefully checks your house so nothing is left to chance.

When you buy a house built before 1990, we always recommend an architectural inspection. Are you planning to buy a newly built house? Then it is not necessary, but it is better to be on the safe side.

> Compare building surveyors directly

Tip 19. Collect all necessary documents

If you have already been in touch with a mortgage advisor, you have probably already collected all the necessary documents. If you have not yet done so, it is wise to collect all the documents already. Below is an overview of what documents are needed:

  • Income details
  • Assets/Own money
  • Financial obligations
  • Policy details
  • Current home details (if applicable)
  • Divorce documents
  • Other documents

Tip 20. Arrange for an appraiser

The final tip when buying a house is to arrange for an appraisal when buying your new home. This way, the appraised value is prepared by a third party. Nowadays, the mortgage can be a maximum of 100 per cent of the appraised value. Have you overbid a lot? Then you have to finance the part above the appraised value with your own money.

> Do you also happen to want to sell your house? Then go on to the 9 best tips for selling your house

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FAQ

Check out the frequently asked questions about home buying below.

What does a buying agent cost?

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The average commission for a buying agent in The Netherlands is between 0.5 and 1.0 percent of the purchase price. The percentage differs depending on the place of residence where you want to buy a house. Is the place or neighbourhood very popular? Then the broker can charge higher costs.

Is it possible to buy a house without own money?

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Buying a house without your own money is possible, there are several possibilities such as a loan in addition to your mortgage or a tax-free gift from parents.

Buying a house without a buying agent?

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Yes, a purchase broker is not mandatory, so it is possible to buy a house without a purchase broker. It saves you a lot of money.

Can I buy a house without a mortgage?

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Yes, buying a home without a mortgage is possible. The house can be paid for with your own money, a loan or with the surplus value of a house you sold earlier. It may be advisable to take out a (small) mortgage.

Can I buy a property to rent out immediately?

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It is possible to rent out a bought property immediately. Do you want to buy the property with a mortgage? Then you must take a real estate mortgage, of this 70 to 80% is paid of the appraisal value, the eventual income from the rented house is seen as an investment and comes in box 3.

Is a buying agent no cure no pay?

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Not always! Most buying agents apply start-up or withdrawal fees, due to the overheated housing market. This makes them certain of income. The rest of the brokers in the Netherlands use no cure no pay. Ask for this in the introductory meeting.

Are the costs of a buying agent tax deductible?

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No, the costs of a buying agent are not tax deductible. The costs will be added to the purchase. Mortgage, notary and appraisal costs, for example, are tax deductible.